Shih Tzu Size

There are three sizes of Shih Tzu, imperials 3-6 lb., tinies 7-9 lb., and standards 10-16 lb.  The standard is the correct size, most common and is the Shih Tzu breed standard in the show ring.

The early ancestors of the Shih Tzu were given to the emperors of the Chinese Imperial Court as gifts of great honor. Shih Tzu would lie across the feet of the Emperor and Empress, as they would take care of court business to keep their feet warm. At one time it was the fashion for the tiny Shih Tzu to be carried in their kimono sleeves to keep them warm and this is where smaller Shih Tzu gets the title “Imperial”.

Imperials do not seem to have any more health problems than any other well bred standard ShihTzu. Imperials are like premature human babies and some things just take longer to develop. Their soft spot takes longer to close than the larger pups, sometimes up to 6 months or longer and this can be normal for their tiny size. Their puppy teeth may take longer to come in. They often do not hit sexual maturity until over 1 yr old, and the testicles may not come down as early as the larger pups.

The key to finding any healthy Shih Tzu no matter what their size is to find a reputable breeder.  We do not breed only for size.  We strive for a complete package in our all of our puppies. We breed for a body that slightly longer than the legs with a high tail set, a flat top line, nice bone with substance, straight and soft thick double coats, even or slightly undershot bites, eyes with no white showing.

At birth a true imperial is not the “runt” and is most of the time the same weight or even larger than their litter mates at birth. It takes several weeks after birth to see a difference in their growth rates. While a larger puppy’s growth continues the same, an imperial’s weight slows down dramatically.  There is no sure way to know if a puppy will stay small or have a growing spurt, but there is a chart to help determine  a puppy’s adult weight.

At 8 wks of age take the puppy’s exact weight and multiply by 3

10 wks X 2 and add a pound

12 wks X 2

The older the pup the more accurate we can estimate its adult weight. Usually, the height your puppy is at 6 months is the height you can expect it to stay. A puppy can still gain weight from the age of 6 months to a year old. The above chart is just a guideline; you must take in to consideration the parents and grandparents weight.   It is not possible for anyone to know exactly what a puppy will weigh at adulthood. As a breeder, we can give our best educated guess based on previous litters and by having a knowledge of our lines and the sizes of our breeding adults.